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Tying It All Together

By: Kim Scott

Photo by Zetong Li on Unsplash

I have been pondering during my daily meditation about what to say to you about the Enneagram to tie all the pieces you have heard over the last few episodes as well as the last two blog posts…and I think what I want you to know more than anything at all, is that the Enneagram is not a mere personality assessment. 

It is much more than that.

It is a spiritual wisdom tool that can help us uncover our purest self - our essence…our soul. It gives us the information we need, to make the journey home to our true self. 

Richard Rohr says,

“The journey to happiness is finding the courage to go into ourselves and take responsibility for what’s there - all of it.” 

The Enneagram helps us to see ourselves and our lives from a broader perspective. It is the foundation and the platform for lifelong soul work. We have spent years since our childhood covering up our essence with patterned behaviors and defense mechanisms which now comes naturally and habitually, without even thinking about it. 

But what if we continue to observe ourselves and keep asking the question, “why do I do that?” We would uncover the sacred wounds from our childhood that taught us which behaviors worked for us and which behaviors didn’t work for us to get the love, affirmation and intimacy that every child wants. 

One Enneagram expert describes each Enneagram type as a form of armor we put on to protect ourselves from wounding messages. The lifelong soul work begins by removing the armor piece by piece in order to expand beyond our number. 

The point of the Enneagram wisdom is not to get entrenched in your type. The deeper purpose is to understand your type as well as the other 8 types. Picture a circle of 9 chairs - each chair has a completely different view of the world.

Each type sees the world from a different perspective. From the perspective of your worldview, you have developed biases toward how other types view and respond to the world.

As your ego grows strong, you begin to impose your view on others. As you can imagine, this is what creates conflict, divisiveness, and dualistic thinking - right or wrong, black or white, emotional or rational, thinking or feeling. 

As we work on removing the layers of our egos, we must also learn to hold space for ourselves and for the other types.

As we do, we learn to appreciate the beauty of other types and can possibly tap into the behaviors of others to make us more whole - to expand our own patterned responses - our own worldview. 

Here’s a key point to the Enneagram system - we have access to all of the Enneagram types. We ARE our number because the numbers are based on our deep-seeded motivations for why we do what we do - our numbers are NOT based on our behaviors. But part of the lifelong soul work is allowing ourselves to try new behaviors, moving us to wholeness and the fullness of ourselves. 

It’s easy to “hold space” - to understand and accept - our go-to actions because it’s who we are. But ask yourself, what don’t I hold space for?

Maybe it’s for people who have difficulty making a decision as they mull things over and over again; maybe it’s the sunny-side personality who sees the good in every situation; maybe it’s the quiet, slow-moving individual who refrains from sharing their opinion; maybe it’s the melancholy person who always seems to be sad…

what (who) don’t you hold space for?

Whatever that is, you won’t be able to tap into those behaviors until you open up and allow yourself to appreciate these differences. Appreciating these differences comes from understanding the motivations of each Enneagram number.

This is the beginning work of the Enneagram.

So perhaps take a few spots of time to think about the people in your life who are challenging to understand, who are difficult to hold space for.

Ask yourself: How do they act? What are their behaviors? How do they differ from your responses and reactions? 

As we allow ourselves to understand and accept how others react and respond, it leads to greater wholeness for ourselves…and more importantly, for all others.

As we hold space for other types with compassion and as we embrace these differences, we move toward unity. This is one of the graces of the Enneagram wisdom.

I think (I hope) you will agree that unity is sorely needed in our homes, in our communities, in our country, in our world.

Empower Hope and Healing.


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